Bronze Door Furniture
After brass was patented by James Emerson in 1770, real bronze was defined as any alloy of copper apart from zinc. Bronze became very popular because of its carefree maintenance due to the material forming its own natural protective patina over a short space of time.
Although popular with the end user, real bronze was very unpopular with the manufacturers, due to dangerous fumes being produced when the material was cast. UK legislation led to many manufacturers discontinuing door furniture made from this material. However, the past decade has seen a substantial rise in the popularity of bronze once again.
Seen as an exclusive addition to already beautiful properties, real bronze is available in two finishes, highly polished or antiqued. The highly polished finish will maintain its brilliant sheen until eventually ageing gracefully as the bronze oxidises. The antiqued finish is the polished bronze after it has been through a special process to rapidly oxidize the surface. When constantly handled, the oxide film will gradually wear away to reveal the beauty of the polished bronze underneath.
There are other "bronze" finishes available today however it is only "real bronze" that has been used throughout the centuries to add a touch of class to any property! For more information on Imitation Bronze please see the Imitation Bronze FAQ.
Q. Are there different types of Bronze door furniture?
A. Yes, there are two different types of bronze door furniture, Imitation Bronze (also known as IBMA or Imitation Bronze Metal Antique) and Real Bronze (also known as RBMA or Real Bronze Metal Antique). Imitation Bronze, as the description implies, is not actually made from bronze at all. The "bronze" finish is achieved by chemical, powder and paint processes usually applied to brass or other metal products. Real Bronze furniture is actually made from bronze and is available in the different finishes described below.
Q. What different types of finishes are available in Real Bronze furniture?
A. The three different types of finishes available in Real Bronze furniture are "Highly Polished", "Antiqued" and "Rustic". "Highly Polished" bronze is the raw material that has been polished to achieve a high sheen. The "Antiqued" finish is achieved by taking the finished polished product and heating it for a given period of time in a gas oven. This process produces a thin oxide film on the surface of the bronze that gives off an attractive iridescent blue, green or brown shade, or even a combination of all three. The "Rustic" finish is achieved by using a traditional method of pouring molten bronze into moulds formed from sand. This creates a rustic surface texture with a natural antique patina. The difference between antiqued and highly polished can be seen in the pictures below - the left handles shown are "Antiqued" and the right ones are "Highly Polished". The right hand picture shows the "Rustic" finish. The bronze section in our online store shows all our styles in the Antiqued finish but Highly Polished may be specified as an alternative when ordering. Rustic finish is shown in a separate part of the bronze section.
It should be noted however that Real Bronze is NOT an applied finish. It is not a solution, powder based or plated finish that can be applied to a material such as brass to change its appearance. The finish requires the material to be solid bronze, real bronze as the name implies.
Q. Why does my Antiqued Real Bronze vary slightly in colour?
A. In the case of the "antiqued style" (RBMA), the colour produced is a unique iridescent patina that reflects back various colours whilst the underlying shade is a mid bronze. The finish is created by taking a highly polished solid bronze product and putting it through a special process which rapidly oxidises the surface. There will always be some variations in appearance, it is in the nature of the finish and is one characteristic that makes these items unique and so appealing. Another feature is that with constant handling the oxide film will wear and lighten in appearance. Surfaces that are not handled , or are occasionally handled, will dull down and darken over time.
Q. Why do all Real Bronze products have occasional small blemishes or slight unevenness in the castings?
A. The special Bronze alloy used to achieve this unique finish requires that the products are created using the traditional sand casting process. This results in considerably more stages in the production process than equivalent brass products. Evidence of the casting process can occasionally be seen in the finished product. These small blemishes are not significant in the overall appearance of Real Bronze, but lend authenticity to the traditional nature of the production methods. e.g. The shimmer that can be seen from a highly polished traditional sand cast letter plate will add that special unique character to any property when compared to a comparable machine die cast brass product.
Q. How should I maintain the finish on my Real Bronze furniture?
A. Unlike brass furniture, bronze furniture is not protected by a lacquer coating. The highly polished finish will maintain its appearance, but age gracefully as the bronze gradually oxidises. The antiqued finish bronze also ages beautifully. With constant handling, the oxide film eventually wears down to reveal the beauty of the polished bronze underneath. If only handled occasionally, the furniture will maintain its attractive iridescent finish. All the bronze finishes will benefit from a non-acid wax furniture polish sparingly applied from time to time. An occasional wipe over with a cloth damped with good light oil or lanolin is also recommended.
Q. Should I use metal polish to clean my Real Bronze door furniture?
A. No. Metal polish should never be used to clean Real Bronze door furniture. These polishes contain chemicals that are damaging to pure metal surfaces as well as plated surfaces.
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